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Celebrating Science 2020 online event

September 19, 2020 @ 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm


This will be a zoom meeting.  The zoom link will be emailed to registered participants on the morning of the event.

Speaker Bios

Dr Stas Shabala is a lecturer and researcher in physics at the University of Tasmania. Stas is a highly respected research scientist in his primary field of extragalactic astrophysics and passionate about science participation and outreach. Stas is a strong believer in the power of science education and acknowledges the importance of his own science teachers in his own highly successful career in science. Stas attended Taroona High School, Hobart College and the University of Tasmania before heading overseas to complete his PhD in astrophysics and cosmology at the University of Cambridge. He returned to Tasmania in 2011 and has a variety of roles including as the coordinator of the BSc Catalyst Program for high achieving science students. As our keynote speaker Stas will share his pathway in science and his views on the importance of fundamental science to humanity.

Professor Natalie Brown is a highly experienced educator with strong research backgrounds in plant science, science education and educational attainment. Natalie has taught years 7-12 Science and Mathematics subjects, pre-service teachers at UTAS and is currently the Director of the Peter Underwood Centre. Her passions are student engagement, teacher professional learning, STEM education and Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching.

Dr Lila Landowski is a neuroscientist with the UTAS School of Medicine, a Director of the Australian Society for Medical Research, a Director of Epilepsy Tasmania, as well as a science communicator and science advocate. Her current field of research is in stroke and fatigue. Lila is a multi-award-winning scientist, including the Premier’s Young Achiever of the Year, being a Tasmanian finalist for Young Australian of the Year. Her honorary titles include being an ambassador for public school education, and a patron of National Science week in 2019, and being named Australia’s 16th “science superhero” by Australia’s Chief Scientist.

Jo Dean is an educator who participates across the spectrum of both formal and informal learning institutions in Northern Tasmania. Her work at West Launceston Primary School primarily focuses on gardening with students and community, having conducted a 3 day Introduction to Permaculture Course at the school garden space. Her work also involves creative ways to reduce waste in the school environment. Jo has also been involved in establishing a permaculture teaching space at Northern Suburbs Community Centre, working with a team of facilitators to offer a Permaculture Design Course in the summer of 2020. Her passion for permaculture teaching has also created a continuing link with the Taveuni Empowerment of Women Support Group on Taveuni Island in Fiji, where Jo has visited regularly since 2011 integrating village based learning programs focusing on community resilience.

Rowan Richardson is an online delivery teacher for Virtual Learning Tasmania (VLT) based in Tasmanian eSchool Hobart Campus. He currently teaches Life Sciences 2, grade 9 maths and science and is concurrently designing and teaching the VLT Environmental Science level 3 course. Rowan trained as an ecologist in Queensland with honours in population genetics. After graduating, Rowan worked for both QUT and UQ as a project officer for a number of STEM engagement programs. Rowan started teaching in 2018 as a Teach For Australia associate at Scottsdale High School teaching 9/10 maths, science and robotics. He’s new to the teaching profession and keen to further hone his skills!

Rose Anderson is the Principal Education Officer – Science for the Department of Education. Prior to this role, Rose taught Science, Mathematics and ICT in various schools. Her main passion is in instilling interest and engagement in STEM courses in our learners. She is a Board Director for the Australian Science Teachers Association (ASTA) and the Past President of the Science Teachers Association of Tasmania (STAT).

Rowan Harris is a president of the Tasmanian Geography Teachers’ Association.  He has a background in Geographic Information Systems,  vegetation management and natural values interpretation.  He currently combines his passions of Science and the Performing Arts, teaching both Theatre studies and Geography at Hobart College.  Rowan produced and hosted a science communication improvisation show that was presented in Canberra and in Hobart as part of Science Week 2019.  Rowan will highlight some spatial technologies and demonstrate how to use some simple techniques to use spatial technologies in (or out of) the classroom for a range of applications.

Nikki Brannigan is a Senior Curriculum Officer for Aboriginal Education Services (AES). As part of her duties, she coordinates the development of The Orb.  Prior to joining AES, Nikki worked cross-culturally with interdisciplinary teams in the development and implementation of two-way science projects.  Her interest is in making connections between different knowledge systems and across disciplines.

The Orb and Science Teaching & Learning: This workshop will introduce teachers to The Orb – a first class rich online multimedia resource designed to assist the teaching of Tasmanian Aboriginal histories and cultures. By participating in this workshop, teachers will learn how to use The Orb resources and the new science elaborations to build their knowledge of the Aboriginal and Torres Islander histories and cultures cross curriculum priority as it applies to the science learning area.

Matt Eyles developed the Vocational Education and Training Introduction to Nursing courses. Initially run at Hobart College, the courses are now taught throughout the state at a number of senior secondary campuses. Designed to provide students with qualifications and experience in nursing and allied health, the classes are run in a simulated hospital environment complete with wards, beds, manikins and a hospital reception. Students participate in hands-on activities, scenarios, work placements and engage with residents in a local aged care home. The ultimate in context based science education, Matt’s course has been recognised with many accolades and Matt won the highly competitive Commonwealth Teaching Scholarship in 2018. Matt will talk about the nursing courses and how VET can be combined with science to create valuable learning experiences and outcomes for students.

Seb Viner is a current year 12 student at Hobart College. Seb is an extremely passionate and talented mathematics and science student and actively pursues a wide variety of extracurricular opportunities in these areas. In 2019 Seb was selected to be in the national Earth and Environmental Science Olympiad team and won a silver medal for Australia in the International Science Olympiad. Seb will talk about the benefits that can be gained from taking on opportunities outside of the regular science curriculum.

Bethany Bilowus and Freya Cooper run the Earth Guardians Tasmania group. The groups seeks to create change and empower young leaders in the environmental and social justice movement trough storytelling, art, public engagement and training. Their current project aims to spread awareness and motivate action and leadership on climate and environmental issues in Tasmania. This will be done through a series of artistic avenues – such as a video, art, music and dance. They want to hear about youth experience with climate and environmental issues, as well as visions for the future. Their art will shared with Mps and representatives and the public 😊

Jo Dean is an educator who participates across the spectrum of both formal and informal learning institutions in Northern Tasmania including backyards, community gardens, schools, colleges and University. Permaculture is a purposeful design system based on the patterns and relationships that exist in nature, integrated to yield an abundance of food, energy and fibre to provide local needs as a sustainable culture. From a childhood mostly spent outdoors exploring the natural world, Jo has a passion for the Australian landscape and all living things in it. Starting from the soil as the powerhouse of food growing systems, Jo advocates a range of simple, effective, low-cost systems to maintain soil health in any space she works within. Her work in schools has included a range of waste management strategies, both organic waste and general waste management options, utilizing waste as a resource. Considering each space as an ecosystem, the basis of Jo’s work focuses on integrating natural elements to enhance the resilience of the space by working with nature, not against it. Jo continue’s  to support women’s groups in Fiji where she spent 3 years working closely with Taveuni Empowerment of Women Group to develop village-based Climate Change Resilience education programs enhancing gardens, homes and social enterprise opportunities for island communities.


September 19, 2020
2:00 pm - 5:00 pm